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How you can help the travel and hospitality industry recover via Tripadvisor

 

Tripadvisor has launched new initiatives that empower consumers to support their favorite local restaurants and communities in these unprecedented times.

From a microloan scheme to social media campaigns to a partnership with chef José Andrés' nonprofit food program for victims of natural disasters and crises, the campaign is a wide-reaching effort aimed at keeping the travel and hospitality industry -- which has been nothing less than pummeled by the effects of COVID-19 -- afloat.

Here are some of the ways you can support your favorite local restaurant and the community at large:

- Gift card purchases serve as microloans to help operators pay their rent and their employees. Tripadvisor will identify participating restaurants and make it easier for consumers to purchase gift cards online to spend later, once restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen. Restaurants interested in the program can find more information here.

Here's where the initiative becomes a little self-serving. Nonetheless, the travel company is throwing a good sum of money into the cause.

- For every Tripadvisor review shared on social media with the hashtag #LoveYourLocal, Tripadvisor will donate $1 for up to $150,000. Proceeds will go towards World Central Kitchen (Andrés' nonprofit organization) and The Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation.

- To help, consumers are asked to share a link to their Tripadvisor restaurant review; their favorite dish at their local restaurant with a link to the Tripadvisor business listing, or to pay tribute to their favorite chef or restaurant, while linking to a Tripavisor listing with the hashtag #LoveYourLocal on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

The $150,000 donation is the first phase of a $1 million donation that the online travel agency has pledged in support of the hospitality sector.

The news comes right after the Hilton group announced Monday plans to donate up to one million hotel room nights free to frontline medical professionals leading the fight against COVID-19 in the US through to the end of May.